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Take care of yourself during the May bank holiday

As people make plans for the May bank holiday weekend the NHS in Sefton is encouraging you to also be prepared in case of any accidents or minor ailments.

Health professionals from NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG suggest making sure you have all the necessary supplies and information just in case. 

GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday Monday (27 May) but there are several other ways for you to access medical help during this time, if you need it.    

Being aware of how to treat minor ailments such as burns, cuts and coughs and ensuring you have all the supplies to do so means you can get back to enjoying the bank holiday quicker. 

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “One of the ways to take care of yourself this bank holiday weekend is to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked for minor illnesses such as coughs, colds and sore throats. As GP practices won’t be open as much as usual, self-care is the best way to deal with any common health concerns you may have during the long weekend.

“If you need any further advice, I would recommend calling NHS 111 or visiting your local pharmacy. Both of these services are excellent options for dealing with any non-urgent medical concerns.”

Most pharmacies have private consultation rooms where they can advise you on self-care treatments and give you advice on your medication. Pharmacists can also advise you check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose, amongst many other things.

You can call NHS111 to speak with a highly trained adviser who will assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

You can also visit to get medical advice on where and when to get help.   

If you do need an appointment there are now extended GP appointments of an evening or weekend across Sefton. These appointments can be booked in advance via the GP practice you are registered with or by calling 111. 

Jan Leonard, Director of Place at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “The extended access GP service launched last October in Sefton and has been popular ever since. Open 365 days a year the service is really useful over bank holidays and weekends. You can book an appointment via your GP practice or NHS 111 can book an appointment with your nearest service as long as you are registered with a GP practice in Sefton.”

You can find the pharmacy opening times for each CCG area here:

South Sefton:

Southport and Formby:

For more information on how to treat minor medical concerns visit the Self Care Forum and the NHS website.

Be body kind with Sefton’s Community Mental Health Team

Sefton’s Community Mental Health Team offers a range of services to help Sefton residents feel better about their bodies in a bid to improve mental health.

This work mirrors the 2019 theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19) which is ‘Body Image-how we think and feel about our bodies’.

The theme was chosen in response to research that revealed that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.

The social care staff at the Hesketh Centre work closely with health colleagues, Active Sefton and Everton in the Community to support service users to improve their mental health and general wellbeing through being more physically active and socialising with other people.

A raft of activities are on offer to help boost confidence and promote friendships including walking groups, football, cycling, allotment group and healthy blues which is part of the programme offered by Everton in the Community and includes activities like indoor bowls, badminton, table tennis and walking football.

Felicity Shepley, Lead Practitioner for Sefton Council’s Community Mental Health Team, said: “Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and the work we do is not about changing people’s bodies but about helping service users feel better in their own skin by giving them the tools to keep active and create new friendships.”

As Sefton celebrates 2019’s Year of Friendship, keeping active has been proven as a great way to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation and groups like those offered by the Community Mental Health team and its partners are an intergral part of this vision.

There are lots of great ways to keep active across Sefton, to find out more visit

CCG searches for new lay member

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking to appoint a new lay member to its Governing Body to replace Graham Morris who retires at the end of June 2019.

Graham joined the NHS in 2005 as a non executive director and audit chair of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Foundation Trust, later becoming its vice chairman. He then joined the CCG in December 2013 as a lay member and vice chair after retiring from Urgent Care 24 as its director of finance.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We would like to wish Graham all the best on his retirement. Graham has contributed greatly to the work of the CCG and we thank him for his dedication in carrying out this strategic role.

“We look forward to welcoming a new lay member to our Governing Body to continue the good progress we have made so far.”

The lay member role the CCG is recruiting to will bring strategic insight and impartiality to the Governing Body, overseeing key elements of governance, including audit and remuneration.

The candidate will be expected to chair the audit committee and be the CCG’s Conflict of Interest Guardian. They will be asked to fulfill the role of the deputy chair for the Governing Body and the term of office will be for three years.

You can find out more details and apply through the NHS jobs website:

For more information on the role you can contact Cathy Loughlin at the CCG on 0151 317 8452. Closing date for applications is 18 May 2019 and interviews will take place on 31 May 2019.

The Reader is inviting people to ‘bring a friend’ or ‘make a friend’ in its Shared Reading Community drive in Sefton

After more than a decade reading aloud in Sefton, The Reader collaborates with Sefton Public Health on Mental Health Awareness Week special

Liverpool-based charity, The Reader, is collaborating with Sefton Council’s Public Health team and local organisations on a series of Shared Reading events, tying together Mental Health Awareness Week with Sefton’s Year of Friendship.

From 13th to 17th May, special Shared Reading Tasters will run alongside regular Shared Reading groups – weekly read-aloud groups that bring people together and books to life.

Local people are invited for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat over friendship-themed stories and poems. No pressure to talk or read.

  • Strand By Me Shared Reading Taster (Tuesday 10am – 12pm)
  • Kindfulness Coffee Club Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 10.30am – 12pm)
  • Feelgood Factory Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 12.15am – 12.45pm)
  • Crosby Library Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 1.30pm – 3.30pm)
  • Southport Liferooms Shared Reading Taster (Wednesday 2pm – 3pm)
  • Writeblend Shared Reading Taster (Thursday 10.30am – 11.30am)
  • Crosby Library Shared Reading Taster (Thursday 12pm – 1pm)
  • Crosby Library Weekly Shared Reading Group (Thursday 1.30pm – 3pm)
  • Bootle Library Shared Reading Taster (Friday 10am – 12pm)

The Reader will also be popping up at YKids homework club on Monday 4pm – 6pm with a Taster session to help improve wellbeing alongside studying.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said “We are delighted that so many people in Sefton have become involved in local reading groups.  They have not only learned more about the joys of reading together, they have also found new friends – which support our Year of Friendship in Sefton.”

“We first came to Sefton in 2006 to work directly with women experiencing mental health problems at the Swan Centre,” explains The Reader’s founder and director, Jane Davis.

“Great literature speaks to all parts of us, not just that which is sick. Poetry can remind us of parts of ourselves that we may have all but forgotten. ‘Who would’ve thought my shrivelled heart/could have recovered greenness?. When I read that line in George Herbert’s poem ‘The Flower’, I am filled with the realisation that things can change, even if I can’t imagine that change right now.” 

The Reader runs more than 200 Shared Reading groups across the North West; in its home at Calderstones Park, in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Skelmersdale and Lancashire, St Helens and Warrington, Wigan and Wirral. You can find your closest one here.

There are currently 17 Shared Reading groups happening in Sefton, funded by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sefton Public Health and The Limbourne Trust – nine of which are open for the public to drop in.

In The Reader’s latest Feedback Week survey of more than 1,500 Readers across the UK:

  • 94% said they look forward their Shared Reading group ‘as an important event in my week’.
  • 91% said ‘the reading sessions make me feel better ‘.
  • 84% said they’ve made new friends in the group.

The Reader works with mental health service providers across the UK and has been partnering with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, offering in-patient and community groups across Merseyside, since 2007.

In mental health support groups:

  • 92% said they felt ‘safe and welcomed in the group’.
  • 85% said they ‘felt valued’.
  • 85% said the group gave them ‘something different to think about’.

One Sefton resident who joined a local Shared Reading group before training as a volunteer with The Reader, said: “It took a lot for me to walk in on my own, but the group were very welcoming. I find that I’m not as anxious when I’m in the group, and I lose myself in the story.”

People who are keen to find out how they can get more involved with The Reader, including running a group locally, or starting one specifically to help reduce social isolation and strengthen their community, should email

Next of kin: William Henry Topham

Sefton Coroner’s Office is appealing for information to find the next of kin of a man from Bootle who recently passed away. 

70-year-old William Henry Topham died at his home address in Clare Road, Bootle on Friday, 18 January 2019.

His death is not being treated as suspicious.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 0151 934 4566.

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